short episodes of depression

By Dr. Marie Hartwell-Walker

I’m 14 and I’ve been suffering from short episodes of depression for about 2-3 years now. I’m always feeling sad and lonely inside but i tend to keep a pretty good mask over it.
The way the episodes are is there is a trigger. It could range anywhere from getting a bad grade in a class or hearing that one of my closest friends wants to commit suicide. The grade trigger usually doesnt happen though. If i’m alone in my room and an “episode” and or “stand still” as i’ve come to call them happens then i tend to cry and wrap myself in my large fuzzy, heavy blanket and after awhile i calm down and my mask is uncracked again. But if i’m in school or with friends i tend to stare off into space, doodle random scribbles instead of my usual designs, or i just sit or lean against something staring at the ground. Awhile ago i would write A-LOT of poetry. i’ve gotten back into that a little bit now that the school year has started.
During these episodes i dont feel hardly anything accept a little pain, the rest is numb. Thoughts of suicide and self mutilation run through my head. Although i’ve made a promise to my boyfriend to stop cutting, so the thoughts of that stay in my head not on my wrists, but i do have scars. Almost nobody notices when i’m in an episode, it may just seem like i’m tired or in a deep thinking mood. This sometimes increases the impact of the episode. The fact that some of my closest friends cant notice when i’ve dropped my gaurd for the tiniest second.
I do have trust issues and so it’s hard to talk to people face to face or over the phone about my feelings, this may be why people have stopped asking whats wrong. I wasent eating much for about a week and i think it was after shock of a severe episode, this was maybe 2 maybe more weeks ago. I dont keep record of my episodes.
I’ve thought about maybe creating a log of episodes, journals and diaries have never worked for me. But i didnt know if i could be dedicated to it.

I would like to know what these short episodes are and how i can maybe improve on them.

….help me….

A: Thank you for writing. I can tell you are in a great deal of pain and confusion. I’m not sure what your “episodes” are about. I do take them very, very seriously. There are a number of possibilities, some medical and some psychological. For that reason, I think it would be a good idea to start with getting a checkup. It could be that there is a medical reason for at least some of your problems. If your doctor says that everything is okay medically, it’s then time to talk to a counselor who specializes in working with teens. Ask your doctor for a referral. Too shy to do that? Check out this website or call the counselors at Boys and Girls Town at 800-448-3000. There are counselors on duty 24/7 who can listen to your whole story and answer your questions. To find out more about them go to www.boystown.org.

You made an important first step by writing. Now take the next one and get yourself the practical help you need. There is no need for a 14-year-old to suffer alone like this.

I wish you well.
Dr. Marie

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 26 Oct 2009

APA Reference
Hartwell-Walker, D. (2009). short episodes of depression. Psych Central. Retrieved on November 29, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2009/10/26/short-episodes-of-depression/

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